The Big World of Miniature Books

What do you call a book that’s no more than three inches tall?
A small book?
A tiny book?
The proper term is a miniature book.

The Miniature Book Society has a traveling exhibit designed to introduce people to the world of miniature books. I’ve known miniature books existed, but I never knew that there is an organization dedicated to them.

I stumbled into the world of miniature books on Tuesday when I discovered the hashtag #TinyTuesday on Instagram. I took a photo of the miniature book necklace that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas last year (technically, it is a blank journal) and then posted it on Instagram and Tweeted it as well. I adore this necklace and wear it all the time. Green also happens to be one of my favorite colors.

My favorite book necklace.

Wesleyan Library saw my Tweet and Tweeted me this:

And so the next morning I headed to Wesleyan, which is just about a half hour from my house.

Otis Library, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
The Otis Library, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut.

Oits Library Lobby, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
The Miniature Book Exhibit in the handsome lobby of the Otis Library.

A World in the Palm of Your Hand: The Art of Miniature Books by Sally Grucan
Exhibit Introduction by Sally Grucan, Head of Cataloging at Weslyan and Miniature Book Collector.

I appreciated all the books, but this edition of Voltaire in a marbled sleeve captured my attention.

Voltaire Miniature Book, Roberto Patetta, Milan Italy
It won a Miniature Book Society award in 2015.

Miniature Book Society Traveling Exhibit at Wesleyan
I remember seeing Mark Wilson’s Little Book of Card Tricks (2000) in bookstores.

Publius Terentius Afer, Selected works of Terence, Miniature Book, 1823
The oldest book in the exhibit was published in 1823. Selected works of Terence.

Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Miniature Book
One of the tiniest books is this edition of Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik. I’d need a magnifying glass for this one.

The exhibit is in the lobby of the Otis Library through May 24, 2016. After that it moves on to Texas and then Alabama. For details about its tour schedule visit MBS.ORG.

MBS Grand Conclaive, McKinney, Texas
The MBS also has an annual conference or conclave.

Have you had any run-ins with miniature books? Any collectors out there? If so, how did you get started as a collector?


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